Three things that annoyed me in Carrefour Express


The miserable cow who was duty manager for the self-serve checkouts. The queues in this shop (Zlote Tarasy branch) are invariably long and painful. They appear to have a policy of employing cashiers who are, shall we say, slow. I’m all for employing the difficult to employ but at least train them up! Hence, I am always attracted to the do-it-yourself checkouts because they save some time. It is painful to watch the collection of dimwits who can’t operate them but even allowing for them it is less painful than waiting in Mr or Mrs Slowcoach queue only to find they need to change cashiers to someone even slower just when you reach the till.

They have signs over the DIY checkouts that say no more than 15 items allowed. They also have a picture of a basket and something else, I forget what, probably “No English” judging by today’s episode. I wasn’t sure how much I was going to buy because it’s hard to know whether their fruit and veg is going to fit for humans or for pigs and just how out of date everything else will be. Today was the pig’s day so I bought very little and put it in my wheeled trolley. I went to the DIY place. The cow starts screaming at me. I look perplexed and scream back that I only have 15 items. She screams again, this time that I have trolley and should therefore f*** off and die. I decide to wheel down her way to get a little face time with a communist shop-hitler relic. We exchange pleasantries, I wish her a Merry Christmas, move to a slow queue and start shouting at her about whether I’m okay even to stand here. She goes back to terrorising people for using the wide open spaces as an entrance, for not understanding the complex machinery, for looking at her the wrong way……….. I try my best to hold forth a conversation with a Polish guy in the adjacent queue who obviously admires my style. I get more Polish by the minute! ;)

Can’t quite understand the need to have BOTH a 15 items only rule AND a no trolleys rule. What exactly is wrong with 12 items in a trolley?


I object really quite violently to having to pay for plastic bags to allow me to remove my shopping from their premises after having paid good money for the goods in the first place. They are all at it now, gone are the days of the polite “Would you like an advertówka?”. No. Now you have to pick it up yourself, if you remember, check it through and pay X grosz for it. They dress it up as an eco-friendly thing but that’s a lot of bullshit. I’m sure if you examine their business hard enough the eco-farce will be out the window like a scalded cat. It’s a marketing gimmick to get you to pay for your bag instead of them and I don’t like it.


“Bad people” who hover near the cash desk looking for “nice people” to pester with the old “I’ll give you this coupon, you can buy your shopping with it and you give me the 100 PLN cash”. There’s got to be a scam involved here, not sure what it is. Nobody really comes out any worse off, unless the bad people steal the coupons from their grannies, but I don’t like it all the same.

Rant over.


13 thoughts on “Three things that annoyed me in Carrefour Express

  1. Feeling better now?
    And about the advertowkas, I didn’t even know they used to give them out for free. Oh, the good old days of free plastic bags…

  2. NO, it is NOT a marketing gimmick. Just take a bag with you and then you do NOT need to pay for it.

    Nobody forces you to buy their bags ;)

    Here in Germany we have to pay for a plastic bags since many many years. And the streets are much cleaner now, because sooner or later the people realize that it makes no sense tu buy ton of plastic bags every year and then throw them away. You can buy 10 cotton bags and use them your whole life…

  3. just leaving a note to say how funny this was…. not for you at the time obviously, but after a glass of wine it’s hilarious. I have found this in French Carrefour but my experiences in poland do not include supermarkets…. thank goodness apparently!

  4. If you’re going to use the “15 items or less” check-out AND a trolley – you need a whinging 3-year old with you. We’ve taken two trolleys (full) through this check-out – took a while mind you, but it was still much faster than going through the normal check-out. The miserable cow in charge really wasn’t getting paid enough to mess with an irate mother of two who couldn’t care less what the staff or other customers thought of her.

    From my perspective, rather amusing.

  5. Anna, yes indeed they were offered for free but generally only if you had spent a reasonable amount. Small consumption was greeted with those smaller, thinner, bags. The ones where everything falls on the pavement when you leave the shop.

    gast, I see I will end my days carrying around a dainty cotton shopping bag just in case I need to do some grocery shopping. Where’s that shotgun.

    Lizzie, I’m always better after a glass of wine!

    Yeller, that’s cheating but good for you.

  6. Oh how I love that self-check out. Despite the sour-faced cow (there always is one, isn’t there?) and the idiots unable to figure out that you take the stuff from one side, scan and put it in the box on the other side. It is still faster than “Ma Pani Drobne” woman. Btw, if they can put drobne in the machines of the self-check out, why can’t they give enough drobne to the check-out ladies?

    When all the Communist shops with the ladies behind the counter (who were as sour and cow-like as they could be) started shutting, these women had to find jobs somewhere. And they have, by the looks of it, all been employed by Carrefour where they continue to be sour, Communist and unaware that it’s the wonderful age of capitalism and I can choose where to get my groceries (choose online shopping, I say).

    I don’t mind paying for bags. What I mind is forgetting to take a reusable bag from home (we’ve got, like, a million) and then having to pay for another one to lug home. Ugh.

    And you’re totally right about the quality of fruit and veg at Carrefour. Seriously…what is up with that? That’s why I get my fruit and veg, once a week, in a little shed a few streets away. It’s great quality.

    Also, I MISS Albert. I really do. They used to have Ocean Spray Cranberry juice AND Green King ales. These sold! Why doesn’t Carrefour get these on the shselves?

    Sorry to have rambled…it seems that I need to write a blog post myself on the crapness of Carrefour.

  7. I can only add, that this is so much better then Auchan self-check out. You can get there with a wheeled trolley (although the sign shouts: only 15 items!), but when you want to pay by card, you need to wait for assistance! and as in carefour express, there is only one sour faced cow for 6 check outs!

  8. I stopped shopping there years ago when I reached into a pile of lemons and found one which was so rotten my finger went right through it.
    Interesting to see that 5-6 years on things haven’t got any better.

  9. What is it with Ocean Spray cranberry juice? I know of one other who is such addicted and the only time we bought some ourselves it disappeared very quickly, mostly in my wife’s tummy!

  10. It must be something about the Express version of Carrefour, mine is staffed by equally appalling individuals while the main branch is all sweetness and light (relatively speaking).

    Do-it-yourself checkouts!? Us southerners regard such things as a species of voodoo witchcraft

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